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December 27, 2019
Straight from an HR’s heart: Views on the new age HR
“Nothing we do is more important than hiring and developing people. At the end of the day, you bet on people, not on strategies.”
-Lawrence Bossidy, Former COO of GE
In this new age of HR, one comes across many advancements and disruptions with the introduction and emphasis on shifting ideologies, research, analytics, people-orientation, advancements in the area of talent management and use HR analytics to influence business decision, the list goes on. If these advancements were to be summarized one might find human resources entering a new era altogether.
Organizations which are established, stable and have been around for a long time, have a different way of defining the practice of human resource management altogether as compared to the more contemporary and young organizations.
Looking at start-ups, specifically the ones that revolve around IT/ITES, have long ignored the importance of HR because they are too preoccupied generating short-term profits. When observed, one realizes that HR is still being limited, at least by perspective, to operational function and has not been valued as a strategic contributor.
Companies often fail to acknowledge the importance of “Talent” and its management in creating successful organizations. Time and again it has been proven by research and by practice that right management of Talent leads to Motivation and Retention which in turn, creates “Loyal” employees. Contrary to popular belief or general practice at least, Managing talent is not limited to just providing the right compensation. Though compensation is a crucial factor, managing and motivating employees covers everything from their acquisition to their exit and recently post their exit too, or to put it simply the entire “employee life cycle”. It involves ensuring the right job fit, appropriate positioning, competency and skill mapping, alignment of these competencies to goals and deliverables, promoting employee development and growth, career and succession planning and everything in between.
A couple of generations ago the workforce was loyal to satisfy their basic needs, there existed a dearth of jobs. One way to look at it is people couldn’t afford to be not loyal. The generation of employees that followed had it a little better, the economy was better, food and Shelter were no longer the epitome. This led to them earning for higher needs or “luxuries”. Even with a growing economy job were not exactly plenty and there existed just the right amount of labor demand and supply, loyalty was again a farce concept. It is important to note that for both these generations the construct of loyalty was created by their external realities and was not internally driven. They continued working since they had to cater to a few of their needs depending upon to what extent they are affected by social desirability. As far as the new gen talent goes, they have seen it all and had it all. They have been provided for and offering basics and luxuries are no longer enough. If not money and benefits what will keep them motivated in the long run?
Finding and implementing the solution for this question is what the new era HR is all about, this is the true challenge of the contemporary corporate.
Quite often, we see employees choose to leave high paying jobs just because their aspirations are not taken care of or their “expectations” are not met. It is also not unheard of that people take salary cuts or move to a low paying jobs because they feel the organizational goal and their individual aspirations go hand in hand, and that, is where the answer to “what will make them stay” lies- “Catering to their aspirations”. HR should always be on the lookout for the early signs of weather the organizations functioning promotes loyalty, by the way of individual growth and the leadership should integrate this input into their long-term strategic goals and processes.
The future of corporates largely depends on how efficient their HR is and more importantly, how well are they being utilized and incorporated. With a shifting economy, daily disruptions in the market and a shortage of skilled workforce to keep up to these disruptions, Loyalty and retention should all the more be the priority in a corporates list of agendas.